Saturday 28 November 2015

Charity, birthdays and a performance

See this heavenly festive jug?

This splendid Father Christmas is a 1950's vintage Bird's Eye custard jug. My parents have an identical one passed down from my sadly departed grandparents, which ONLY comes out at Christmas.
And guess what?! I have picked up an identical one from the Scope charity shop for £1.50. I can't tell you how excited I was when I unearthed it. I have always loved this little Toby jug since I was a young child.

He was, I believe, a limited edition Toby jug and my father can remember going shopping with his mother and buying the jug in Woolworths at a very young age. I have seen copious amounts of custard poured from the top of his jolly head. Cream for our mince pies and Christmas pudding. Possibly a cheeky beer once as a teenager, which was guzzled straight from Santa's bonce, but I won't linger on that in case my parents read this. It is a treasured jug.

You can keep your Black Friday shenanigans, spending very little but giving something back at the same time is where I am still at. Keeping things out of landfill, being grateful for small things, re-loving items that others no longer like. It makes me happy.

This is something else that keeps me happy; reading Christmassy books to the biggest bookworm I know. She will be two in three weeks time, I can't quite believe it.

It wasn't so long ago that she looked like this:

She has been the most precious, unexpected gift to us and brings us masses of joy daily. She slots in well and the other two love her to bits. It's kind of hard not to.

In other news, the Princess has turned 12. How?!

She was also a very beautiful baby;

Her birth was hideous and traumatic and we still count our lucky stars that she is with us. 

Christmas is rushing closer and I am feeling a little stressed. Nowhere NEAR completing my Christmas shopping, I have written many Christmas cards but not addressed them. Not planned much at all. It isn't helped by Sweet Child turning two on December 23. Eek.

And on a final note, the Prince came rushing out of school the other day and proudly announced he is a leopard in the school nativity play. A leopard, I thought to myself. Why do schools have to make it so complicated for parents? Why an exotic animal? Hardly festive is it? How on earth would I source a costume? I can't sew. I lack imagination when put under pressure. I can't exactly Bet Lynch him up in a leopardprint catsuit, although it would have made a great laugh on his 18th birthday in terms of photos.

"Are you sure?" I asked. "Are you definitely going to be a leopard?"

He nodded vigorously.

"Definitely a leopard."

So I stressed silently within and unpacked his school bag once we got home.

I found the letter containing details about the nativity play.

And of course, he is going to be.....a shepherd.


(I got this book from a charity shop recently too!)

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Bye bye booby, booby bye bye

So, last week I found the toddler, Sweet Child, attempting to breastfeed her WELLY. Yup. And having had no more than two hours of broken sleep a night and feeling on the brink of utter exhaustion, I decided to finally call time at the bra. After 22 months.

I used a method I never thought I would. Vinegar. I literally doused my golden globes in lashings of Sarson's finest malt. True, I smelt like a chip shop but the Husband said it was an appetising aroma.
Anyway, Sweet Child was no longer keen to nurse so instead we had plenty of cuddles.

And here we are a week later, my boobs are a little Jordan-esque so I have to express a bit off from time to time, but ever so slowly, my body is getting the message. My breasts are now mine, and no longer mauled in the middle of the night by a tiny, over-enthusiastic person.

Onto other things, I can't believe I haven't blogged for three months, I shall have to do something about that. Like write more blog posts.

Cherry tree time. I bought this lovely John Rocha dress:

I made this for my sister's brand new baby. Wool from the charity shop, natch.

This entire outfit cost £3 from various cherry tree shops:

The hat is worn a lot. Here is a gorgeous dress below from a cherry tree shop which cost me 50p. Boots are second hand from my next door neighbour. Cardie also 50p. 

And this skirt was 50p and I love it a bit too much.

 I have a similar one which I bought from a cherry tree shop years ago and I wore on the day I turned 40, last month:

I had a wonderful birthday. It involved a small surprise gathering, a weekend away with the Husband (kid free, get in!), a surprise lunch with my family and a surprise day in London with one of my best friends:

The epic birthday cake made by my good friend.

We spent my actual birthday on the beach having lunch and soaking up the sun.

We went to Bath for the weekend to celebrate:

Then one of my besties took me to London. We ate and drank at the Sky Garden, hung out in The Savoy, went shopping, went to a caberet show in the Oscar Wilde bar at Hotel Cafe Royal. 

I was thoroughly spoilt and turning 40 has been far better than I expected.

Ooh I forgot, I also bought these from the cherry tree shop since my last post:

A fab Gisela Graham purse:

And this gorgeous writing paper which is very apt as I live by the sea:

Right, I am now heading out for my weekly volunteering position at a breastfeeding group. I love helping new mums feed their babies, but I am feeling relieved I don't have to go through the initial struggle myself. I have breastfed for a total of just over five years. It's enough.

Friday 24 July 2015

Summer holiday...The Beginning

Cripes, this blog writing seems nigh on impossible these days. If I'm not wiping juvenile snot from my shoulders or picking up endless amounts of dried peas from under the kitchen table, then I am trying to decrease my frown line (which seems to be increasing, rather annoyingly) or find where the toddler has toddled off to (usually a forbidden place).
Anyway, here I am, surviving day three of the summer holidays. It's bad today weather wise and making me feel groggy.
All I want to do is take to my bed like a Victorian heroine and curl up under a duvet and read my book. But alas.
I have this trio of giblets to care for:

The toddler is currently snoozing and snoring like an old man, the older two have been bribed with a few sweets and a magazine (OMG, I had no idea kids magazines were so pricey) so I can blog and wash up and attempt to get back into that book.
Then I might bake. A few weeks ago I made these for a friend to celebrate her birthday:

I love cupcakes and I know these have been done to death but I love them. They were so delicious and vanilla-filled, it was worth every calorie.

Exciting things have happened. Firstly, my bro and his wife have brought into the world the sweetest twins!

We went to visit last weekend and I had my fair share of cuddles:

Ooh and I am wearing my Gabrielle Parker floral wrap dress which I bought from the cherry tree shop for less than a fiver!! Think the babies approved.

The twins are like tiny kittens, I am smitten. 

We chilled out in Henley on Thames and visited friends the day before seeing the twins.

You can't see it in the below photo but I also have a lovely new cherry tree skirt, it's navy, A line and lacy. I am not pregnant in this pic, just bloated, for the record......

We have been to the sea a lot recently, mainly just Sweet Child O'Mine and me. We love the sound of the waves and looking for tiny crabs in the rock pools.

Oh and this is replacing my chocolate obsession. Not sure what I will do when the watermelon season is over. Sob, probs.

I have bought two new Ladybird books but can't find them in all the mess these three kids are creating daily but I shall scour around for them and try to blog again soon. 
Ha! There's more chance of Jon Bon Jovi knocking on my door. 
And if that should happen, I really would insist on a duvet day (with no intention of reading my book).  If only I could find a babysitter.......

Friday 5 June 2015

Jean genie

So the news this week is that I spent an incredible amount of time removing a piece of Special K from the Prince's ear. He somehow managed to wedge a piece of the cereal right inside while watching Superman.
This is him before Cereal Ear Saga.

I thought about tweezers for swift removal of said brittle flake but decided against it. I am, after all, the girl who was taken into hospital at the age of ten after sticking a plastic bead in her ear and having an operation to remove it from her ear drum.
I couldn't work how to get the cereal out without pushing it in further, but then I remembered my brother getting a beetle in his ear as a kid and me pouring a massive jug of water into his lughole and the beetle swimming out in the torrid tsunami.
It worked a treat. Said Special K whooshed out, the Prince could hear again. And I could relax. Until Sweet Child fell off a wooden cart in the garden and grazed her chin. With never ending blood.
Half term.
Such sweet words.
End of half term. 
Even sweeter.
Don't get me wrong, we have actually had a blast as the Husband had the whole week off.
But the house was trashed when the kids returned to school. So the first day back, I decided to thoroughly clean the house. As in deep clean. I decided to wear the husband' old jeans to do this.
Now, I haven't worn my own jeans for 26 months. They just don't fit from the moment I got pregnant til now. So I donned male jeans and cleaned all day. Bleached meself happy, so I did.
Then I threw a coat on and dashed to do the school run.
One mum at the school gate nodded to the fact I was wearing jeans. I explained why. She said she had never seen me in jeans before. I let it go. Was my attire really that noticeable?
Then another mum came up to me and over egged the pudding on the whole "Oh! You are wearing jeans" spiel.
I again pointed out they were my husband's denim slacks which I was wearing as I had been grafting all day.
She then said "It doesn't look right, you wearing jeans. You usually wear pretty dresses or skirts. It doesn't really suit you does it?"
Speechless. Did Levi Strauss ever have to put up with this crap?
I then collected the kids and slouched home in my obviously unflattering kecks and soon forgot about it.
Three hours later a friend dropped by, wanting me to tighten the back of her baby sling while her toddler slept on her back. We were on the doorstep, chatting and I told her about my jeans saga after SHE also noted I was wearing jeans.
I told her why I was wearing them and what the other mums had said and how it made me feel.
And she said "I think it's because you usually look so glam with nice clothes and make up on."
Which didn't really help my mood!
So I may well go another 26 months without wearing jeans...
Moving on, the Prince is six today.
He has gone from this:

To this:

He ate birthday cake for breakfast and told us he felt at least seven years old.

I love this boy so much and am very proud of him.

Right, next blog post, charity finds, I promise....

Monday 25 May 2015

I'm Only Sleeping

As I write this blog post, I am watching the Prince eat the weirdest snack ever. He is stirring Pom-Bear crisps into pilau rice and scoffing it.........vile.
In today's news, I have scraped the scuzzy hardened brown bitty stuff off the table, which might well have been Weetabix but really there's no way to know for sure. In a bid to spring clean. Even though spring cleaning should have happened yonks ago really.
I'm a bit behind.
But the thing is, Sweet Child takes up time. A lot of time. If she isn't trying to hurl herself off the Weetabix-encrusted kitchen table, then she is dangling precariously off the back of the sofa. Or throwing books down the toilet. Or eating soap. Or finding a way of opening packets of chewing gum. Honestly, I feel I have aged dreadfully and am skipping with glee that I am reading more features about how grey hair is the new big deal in the world of glossy tresses. Thank The Lord, I am finally bang on trend.
Three hours sleep is not part of my plan and so instead of cleaning Weetabix and other unidentifiable matter off the table and doing a full Kim and Aggy clean-up in the house, I have been either dazed and glazed while trying to keep up with the washing or I have tried to do an afternoon nap.
Napping has caused me problems though. I ended up sleeping through the alarm last week and slept through the school run. Oh dear god, I have never felt so stressed.
I woke at 2.50pm which is precisely the time the Prince comes out of his class, then dumps his bag/lunch box/PE kit/drinking bottle/crazy art work and school letters onto me and demands he is hungry and WHY aren't we going to the park. Normally that is stressful enough, but imagine actually sleeping through all that.
With a racing heart, I leapt out of bed, woke Sweet Child, dressed her, crammed her into the sling, tried to find my front door key and phoned the school to say I was on my way...without trying to sound too panicky.
Then as I eventually opened the front door to leave, the phone rang and I had to dash back in and answer it, assuming it was my son's teacher.
But it wasn't. It was the receptionist at the Princess's school to tell me my daughter had been hit hard in the head by a rugby ball. Honestly, beads of sweat were rolling down my forehead by this point and the husband wouldn't be home til gone midnight. It was going to be a long afternoon/evening/night.
Things like this stop me from blogging regularly. Sweet Child ripping her nappy off and weeing through the entire house keeps me from blogging. At first I thought we had a ceiling leak.....then I realised what she had done.
So, sleeping through the alarm, thus failing to make the school run, having the feeling I am NEVER top of the housework, trying to be an adult among three very busy children, all of whom are not known for their Shrinking Violet personas, are all the excuses you need to know why I only make a rare appearance these days.
But I know that when the kids grow up, move out and I am kicking my heels around a quiet, calm, clean house, I shall weep. Mourn for what I had.
This is a good life. It's hectic and I probably wouldn't have it any other way.
In other news though, I did eventually finish the pram blanket for Sweet Child. It has taken me months and months.

Sweet Child is now 17 months old and I miss the newborn stage but love how she has developed. She adores hats, bags and shoes. A proper girl!!!

I was godmother at my nephew's christening. This church is where we married 13 years ago. My parents and grandparents were also married here. Now my grandparents are buried here. It is very special.

We have had picnics galore...

One of my besties came to stay and we went out for dinner and had cocktails and had quality time. We NEVER get time together like that usually.

The husband is due back at any time and we are planning a BBQ later although the sun has gone in and it looks cold. As standard when we plan a BBQ...Ho hum.

I have bought some lush things from cherry tree shops recently so I hope to blog about those sometime soon, perhaps before Sweet Child is 18.

Sunday 19 April 2015

Aftermath of the Chocolate Haze

So Easter came in a typical whirl of crazy calorie consumption and hyper kids who thought eating chocolate for breakfast was the Best Thing Ever.

It was like Willy Wonka's factory and then some. I look like an Oompa Loompa too, come to think of it, as a result of over indulging. I can't blame the baby for my weight anymore, it's a pure chockywockydoodah belly and I need to sort it fast.
The Husband worked all Easter except Easter Monday so it was fraught in parts (mainly Foxpoogate which I can't talk about for fear of coming up in hives and naughty children who may have driven me to tears at one point).
The Easter hols were fab on the whole although I couldn't really enjoy charity shop perusing as three kids tend to prevent me doing things to indulge myself. My time will come, probably.
But I did buy a gorgeous bonbon dish just before school broke up, which I kept filling with Mini Eggs.....and scoffing and then refilling. HEAVENLY.

The Trio of Terror have been keeping me on my toes. Sweet Child has been a pickle and I have been sleep training her for the sake of my own sanity. Friday night was hard as I don't agree with leaving children to cry but things are changing for the better.
She is a wonderful, gorgeous little girl with the most hilarious personality. She is obsessed with Batman and also loves knitted dollies and smelling daffodils. 
But man I need to sleep more than three hours a night!

This below pic was at 6.30am today, she was full of beans and far too noisy while the rest of the household tried to sleep.

Now the other two junior villains are back at school, I am working hard as a freelancer, juggling that with ensuring Sweet Child doesn't hurl herself off the kitchen table or try to eat fridge magnets and also trying to stay away from the kids' Easter eggs. And let me tell you, the latter is the hardest part.
Hoping to hit cherry tree shops this week!

Saturday 21 March 2015

Sweet Child and the weary muvva.

 Sweet Child keeps revealing my breasts in public. She has also started ramming her hands down my top to have a quick shuffle and check the food is still there, should she want it. In the same way I open the fridge to check no one has eaten my Double Decker, I guess.
She is also climbing on the kitchen table and it's driving me utterly mad.
And when she isn't doing all that, she is slamming the toilet lid down, taking out the coal from the gas fire and rubbing it all over her face and refusing to let me sleep more than an hour at a time.
So, this post is brief, because all has gone quiet in the living room and I am in the kitchen. I shall brace myself for what she may have done.
And I can't even begin to start telling you about the Chewing Gum Episode but all I shall say is this; she had very minty drool and a shocked face...
Here she is in her £1 cherry tree skirt.

and here she is about to climb Everest again.......

I must locate Sweet Child. Whom I really should rename Wild Child. Well, she sends me flipping wild at times in any case.